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Old 02-21-2006, 09:38 AM   #1
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why do my heaters keep failing?

hi all,

i've put together my first aquarium this week (5.5 gal). everything's going great, except for the heater ... the thing keeps failing.

i've gone through an aquatic gardens and top fin submersible heater in 3 days. i'm trying to keep the aquarium at ~78 F; the room it's in drops down to ~55 F at night. i've been using a 50W heater.

the aquatic gardens looked like it shut itself down during the nights (i'd wake up and find the heater on, but the water ~66F). after 2 days, the thing refused to even turn on. i replaced it with the top fin; this thing didn't even make it through the first night ... it now refuses to turn on.

am i just pushing these things too hard (too much temperature differential)? seems hard to believe though, given that my tank is so small.

much thanks for any advice!
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:55 AM   #2
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Try upgrading to a 100 watt heater. It'll take up more space in your aquarium, but when trying to combat and air temperature that low, that might be what you need.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:09 AM   #3
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That is a very cold room you are dealing with. I would think that the 50W heater would be adequate, but maybe not with such a cold room temp. Maybe a glass lid or a cardboard(painted black) background taped to the back would help hold in a little heat.

Small tanks are tough... My 2.5 gallon reef is finally stable with a 25W Visi-Therm set to 75 degrees. The temp moves around from about 77.5 to 78.5, but this happens slowly over the space of an hour or so.

Try some experimenting. Any chance you could turn your furnace up a bit? How do you sleep so cold!?
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ringfinger
That is a very cold room you are dealing with. I would think that the 50W heater would be adequate, but maybe not with such a cold room temp. Maybe a glass lid or a cardboard(painted black) background taped to the back would help hold in a little heat.

Small tanks are tough... My 2.5 gallon reef is finally stable with a 25W Visi-Therm set to 75 degrees. The temp moves around from about 77.5 to 78.5, but this happens slowly over the space of an hour or so.

Try some experimenting. Any chance you could turn your furnace up a bit? How do you sleep so cold!?
so do you recommend trying a visi-therm? petsmart.com seems to have them much cheaper than in store. perhaps i can get them to price-match today...

heh, in regards to the furnace: i'm stuck in new england, land of the outrageous energy bill. every dollar counts when you're a starving grad student

and btw, does anyone know how i go about modifying my profile? can't seem to find the link here.

thanks again,
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:23 AM   #5
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I heat 5 gal water jugs of pwc water in my basement at those temps and I never have any problems all I use is 50w visitherm stealths and they work fine. Do you have any problems with other appliances if so you may have power problems low or high voltage wich will reak havock on all appliances. I would take devilishturtle advise try a larger heater of a good brand like visitherm or somthing compariable and if you still get the same results I would contact your power company to have your power monitered most power companys will do this for free and if it is a problem with there end of the power they may be responsible for replacment of fried equipment. Good luck let us know how it works out.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:24 AM   #6
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Where in New England?
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:27 AM   #7
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Where in New England?
warm and sunny cambridge massachusetts
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:35 AM   #8
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I hear ya! I cut back energy use every month, but the rising price keeps my bills the same!

Visi-Therm is a great brand of heater to try. I'm not sure if I would put any faith in a Top Fin...

As for your profile. Go to the top of this page, click on home, and then you should see an option to modify your profile on the right side of the page.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:41 AM   #9
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Well isn't top fin aka tetra brand? I had a tetra heater on my 29 gal (came as part of the kit) the only consistancy to it was you could be sure it was inconsistant like 6 degree swings with only 10 degree differance in house temps.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:51 AM   #10
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I hear ya! I cut back energy use every month, but the rising price keeps my bills the same!

Visi-Therm is a great brand of heater to try. I'm not sure if I would put any faith in a Top Fin...

As for your profile. Go to the top of this page, click on home, and then you should see an option to modify your profile on the right side of the page.
ah, found it! would it mean anything to you ringfinger if i said, "maraming salamat?"
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